Today on STT we are getting serious. If you are looking for lightweight, knockabout fun then keep browsing, you will not find any here. Instead, we are attempting to answer one of the universe’s more complex and self-defeating problems: when setting up a sports team, should you employ a man in an animal costume as your mascot, or simply try to coax a real life animal into the role?
Now there are many differences between the U.K. and America, many too tedious to type out, but one of the most baffling things our cousins across the pond do is favour the real life animal, and attempt to squeeze any poor creature they can catch into their club/school’s shirt. The Wall Street Journal reliably informs me that over two dozen universities throughout the country keep live animal mascots, and this involves pouring literally millions of dollars into facilities for the (not so) friendly fur-balls, that will enable them to live in as close to a natural habitat as can be approximated on an American college campus. So under a beer pong table, covered in vomit and cheerleaders, and drinking out of a old bong then…or so you might think. Southern University at
So are the Americans just nuts? I mean, obviously yes, but how can they possibly justify this kind of excess? Many universities say their mascots deserve the best treatment because as symbols of the institutions, they evoke enormous pride in their students. Surely though, an overweight rummy in a mis-fitting tiger suit would evoke just as much spirit as an actual tiger? Plus there are obviously issues of animal cruelty, and I’m not just talking about PETA-baiting nonsense, but actual sabotage, as some mascots have been victims of student pranks. A ram used by the
However, after months of dedicated research, the lesser members of the editorial staff here have concluded that there are no comparative examples at all in English football these days, with every club all the way down to non-league football, favouring the man-in-suit approach to mascotry. There’s a reason for this, well several actually. They look more fun, have more of a personality, can do crazy dances, can have penalty shoot-outs, can accidently knock cheerleaders’ tops off, can fight one another for food, can come on as sub if needed, and at the end of the day, cost considerably less to look after. No Mayan-style temples required to coax Dave from down the local to wear a giant Salmon outfit for the first round of the FA Cup against Graveshead, he was gonna do it anyway.